HINSDALE, N.H. -- The town's police department is now closer than ever to getting a new home, as the demolition at 8-12 Main St. began Monday.

Triple T Trucking, Inc. tore down the building at 12 Main St., which once served as a veterinary clinic, and will soon focus on the one next door, which housed a convenience store and apartment until it was severely damaged in a fire in August 2012. Town officials plan to combine the land parcels of 8-12 Main St. to create a 0.53-acre lot for a new station and a few weeks ago architect Peter Tennant said he hopes the project will break ground in the spring.

After it was damaged in the fire, the building at 8 Main St. was donated to Hinsdale by owner Lewis Major for the purposes of a new police station. The town is in dire need of a new station, as the police department has operated out of a temporary facility on River Road since the early 1980s. Taxpayers voted at Town Meeting to appropriate nearly $1.1 million for the project.

Town Administrator Jill Collins called the start of demolition "an excellent step." She said Catamount Environmental Inc. previously removed all asbestos from the structure.

The project ran into some trouble when town officials conducted a title search and found out the property line had been changed in the deed around 1909. This forced a meeting between the town and the building's abutters, which include property owner Andy Shapiro, to decide where to set a boundary and all parties agreed to keep it in the same spot. The purchase of 12 Main St. for $38,000 was supposed to take place the first week of July but was put on hiatus until the matter was resolved.

Mike Darcy, the chairman of the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen, told the Reformer that everyone associated with the project is happy progress is being made. He said the demolition means construction will likely begin once the ground thaws in the spring. He said the problems encountered have not discouraged town officials.

Demolition of a Main Street residence and the former convenience store is under way in Hinsdale, N.H., to make room for the town’s new police
Demolition of a Main Street residence and the former convenience store is under way in Hinsdale, N.H., to make room for the town's new police station. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)

"I think with every kind of project, there are challenges and snags that you face. But you work through them, you work with the people involved and you come to some kind of answer, some kind of solution, and you move forward," he said. "That's where we are."

At the selectmen's meeting on Monday, Nov. 18, Tennant spoke of two potential delivery methods for the selectmen to ponder. He said the construction management delivery method, the one the selectmen opted for, allows the owner to interview and select a fee-based firm -- based upon qualifications and experience -- before the design and bidding documents are completed. The construction manager and design team will work together to develop and estimate the design. This method provides more ability to handle change in design and scope, though it is difficult for the owner to evaluate the guaranteed maximum price or determine whether the best price has been achieved for the work.

The other option, the traditional design-bid-build method, is what most property owners are familiar with. Tennant said it is a linear process in which one task follows the completion of another with no overlap possible. Plans and specifications, he said, would be completed by the architect and then bids are issued. Contractors bid the project exactly as it is designed, with the lowest responsible, responsive bidder awarded the work. The design consultant team would be selected separately and report directly to the owner.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.